So, Sandy is definitely going to slow our progress in the classroom this week. Our "WICKED" writing pieces will be postponed. I have total respect for nature and will accept this slow down but to be honest, she couldn't have come at a worse time. I've had some amazing professional development lately and I'm more excited than ever to be in the classroom.
As a parent, I completely understand that teachers' professional development days can be a hassle. I have to secure childcare for my own children on these days as well. It is always a scramble as I figure it all out. Will my regular sitter be able to take the kids? If so, great, but it is not going to be cheap. If not, will one of my neighbors be able to take the kids and if all else fails can my husband take the day off or "work" from home?
It is all worthwhile when I come home from one of these days energized about what I can now do in the classroom. Our day on October 5th was this kind of day. Elementary teachers spent half the day learning about the Daily 5 and CAFE and the other half learning about QAR. As you know, I already use the Daily 5 and CAFE but our instructor was FANTASTIC and she really did breathe new life into the topic and get me excited to try new things. She helped me to think about possibilities I hadn't considered. The QAR workshop was fantastic too. The presenters helped us to better appreciate the relationship between the text we ask students to read, the questions we ask of our students and the written answers they provide. The session is already helping me to better prepare my students to read text with purpose and communicate their understanding effectively.
You may have heard that I wasn't in school on October 22nd. It is true. I was at a workshop with Lucy Calkins. Lucy is a nationally recognized authority in the teaching of reading and writing. Her workshop focused on preparing teachers to meet the demands of the Common Core. The Common Core is a set of national standards for all students across the country. As Massachusetts has accepted these standards, all teachers in the Commonwealth will be challenged to help our students meet these rigorous standards. The good news: in the end, our students will be better prepared than ever to enter college or begin a career. This particular workshop, based on her book, Pathways to the Common Core, was amazing. Trust me when I tell you it has already changed the work I do with your children. Your children are incredible and it is critical that their teachers do everything possible to move them toward reaching their full potentials.
As you probably already know, we have another professional development day coming up on the 6th. We'll continue to study the way we teach reading and writing at the elementary level. I know that Dr. Maruszczak has a vision for this district. It is focused on providing your children with the highest quality education possible. We are definitely moving in the right direction. I haven't been this optimistic and energized about my teaching and the possibilities for all students in some time. I hope this is just the start!
Are you impressed with your child's transition into third grade? I sure am!
Our theatre classroom is in full swing. We have lots to be excited about.
All the best,
Steal a sneak peek into our classroom theatre. Visit the "Scenes from the Theatre" page and watch the Animoto. You'll be able to see our stars in action!
What happened to September? I just can't believe that the first month of school is over! Now that your student and family have adjusted to the new routines of third grade, you may have some time to take a look at our website. If you haven't already done so, check out the following:
Weekly homework also
known as the Rehearsal Schedule
Our Tony Award page...who's efforts were recognized this week?
The "Scenes from the Theatre" page. This is probably the students' favorite. They love seeing themselves online and
remembering special moments in our classroom theatre.
"Blogging from Broadway". I'm not sure I'm the blogging sort but at the very least, you can keep up to date on all the
happenings in our classroom theatre.
The "Private Lessons" page. I've included links to some really great pages. Check out the Pearson Learning site. It is a super site for math and reading fluency practice. Also, be sure to check out the IXL site. The students LOVE it. We've already spent 24 hours solving math problems on this site! WOW!